There are three main avenues on the road to permanent makeup training and certification options. The most common are the quick workshops followed by online classes and then actual brick and mortar schools. We are going to cover and explain all three in detail. This article is going to focus on training for the new permanent makeup artist and initial training. We won’t be discussing advanced education or continuing education for the experienced artist. We will be covering only the initial training a new permanent makeup technician seeks to enter the industry because that is the most important education they receive, and it lays the foundation for success or failure.
Permanent Makeup Class: A class is a group of students who meet and receive instruction and guidance.
Permanent Makeup School: An institution for instruction to learn a skill. Some schools are web based but more have a brick and mortar physical location.
Permanent Makeup Workshop: A seminar or small group that meets to explore a subject. Demonstrations and presentations are common in workshops. Workshops are many times traveling workshops, hosted in a variety hotels and conference rooms.
All about workshops
The quick workshop training is usually only a 1 to 5 day workshop. Most commonly, these workshops are 1 or 2 days. We do not refer to these workshops as a school, academy or actual class. The traveling workshops have flooded the beauty business. Their marketing is edgy and fun. Most of the workshops are incredibly affordable. The promise of extreme wealth and master level skill after a 2 day workshop is extremely appealing for only such a small investment. These workshops are extremely popular and profitable (for the workshop facilitators).
One important point that must be addressed is the workshop type certification. You can play on your phone and text the entire time and get your certificate. Everyone gets a certificate. Where are the tests and assessments? If you pay for the workshop, you get a certificate. We have had students tell us they took a workshop and students show up the last hour just to pick up their certificate.
Additionally, a potential student must ask some important questions. Is the workshop being presented by an experienced artist with more than 10 years experience and is there a curriculum? We have seen a 19 year old hosting workshops with 7 months experience and “master artist” on her website. Are they promoting a specific brand of equipment or product line? Sometimes the education is more focused on selling you more products than teaching the skills. Does the workshop meet your local regulatory requirements for hours? Many cities or counties are now requiring a minimum of 100 hours from a verifiable school. Does the workshop provider have a verifiable address and location they are based out of?
There are some excellent workshops that provide good information to artists that have a good foundation in permanent makeup and experience in the industry but workshops cannot provide the level of education that is adequate for proper training. They certainty are not going to make you a master in a matter of days.
Online PMU certification – The new frontier
Online education is the future as we all know but it has it’s good and bad points. Nothing is better than one on one, in person individual instruction. Face to face is the best there is but it going to be costly. Scheduling these meeting or attending traditional classes in person are not convenient or even possible for some students. Online is the next best option if is done correctly.
The bulk of online programs are a web version of the workshops which is compilation of demonstration videos. There isn’t much if any instructor interaction or guidance. Students are basically paying to see some videos and they will get a certificate much like the workshops. They may or may not get a kit or some product with these courses. This does not simulate a classroom environment or encourage real skill building.
Our Hybrid Online Concept – The Virtual Classroom
In order for a student to learn the art of permanent makeup, they have to have hands on training, instructor interaction, guidance and feedback. How do you accomplish this in an online course? How can we make an online platform mimic a traditional classroom environment? It is possible and we actually did it. We worked for years to build this platform and incorporate things that no other permanent makeup certification course offers. Students are actually tested, have assignments that are reviewed and get individual guidance from their instructor. Yes, we have videos too! We also have a text book and workbook. They share their work in the Student Art Share room with other students. The upload photos of their practice skins. Students are working hands on but at a distance. They can revisit lessons and retake quizzes until they pass them because they must pass to graduate. Students earn their certification.
We started off with a few lessons to get our traditional classroom students through the Covid-19 shut down. We stumbled onto our current concept while trying to simulate our classroom environment when students were stuck at home. We were not trying to create an online training program at that time. We were just trying to teach our students who were already in the middle of their traditional program and apprenticeship with us. It was disastrous at first because we were copying what everyone else did for online classes. The out of the box E learning platforms do not cut it. The bar was set high and we met the challenge. Since that time, we have improved and added lessons. We put our full curriculum up. We added features and concepts that are unique. We brought in programmers and IT team to custom create our vision because it simply didn’t exist anywhere. We have a lot more improvements and additions we are still working on. We aren’t finished yet. Our platform will constantly be growing, evolving and improving forever, just like a good permanent makeup artist!
Permanent makeup online training may have a bad reputation and we recognize this. We understand and know what students face when they begin to research where they should get certified. Most students want the best permanent makeup training. We know that they are expecting more of the same tired video demonstrations and no real hands on training. Well, we have changed all that with our hybrid virtual classroom.
We also offer in person training too! We are a brick and mortar school and we provide traditional classes face to face. If you graduate and want to register for a group class, we do those 4 times a year which range from $1000+. If a student enrolled in program 3, the group classes are already included in their program. These group classes are 5 weeks long. If you want individual one on one instruction, the rates are $900 per day.
Permanent makeup professional organizations:
There are two major permanent cosmetic professional organizations. The SPCP or Society Of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals has been around the longest. There is also the AAM or the American Academy Of Micropigmentation. These organizations charge a yearly membership fee and do have certification requirements to join. They do have yearly conferences and continuing education opportunities. Once a student is certified, we do recommend they seek out membership to one of these two organizations. We understand that membership is another incurred cost but if you intend to attend the conferences and get yearly continued education, these memberships have a good value. If you don’t intend to attend, these memberships tend to have little value and new artists tend to discontinue membership.
The memberships offered by professional organizations are not legal licensure to work in the field pf permanent makeup. They are voluntary memberships that many PMU technicians find helpful for continuing education and product knowledge.